Serentschy presents RTR study: Mobile telephony dominant among residential customers, fixed-link prevails among businesses

Press release dated 19 March 2008

"The results of our latest survey on the demand behavior of residential and business customers once again highlight the fact that telecommunications is an extremely dynamic and fast-moving sector," noted Georg Serentschy when presenting the RTR study. "In the last two years, use behavior has seen many new developments and substantial changes among residential consumers and businesses. While some areas of the telecommunications sector are losing significance, we can see significant growth in other areas."

Residential segment:  Mobile phones replacing land lines

This trend is especially visible in the penetration figures for fixed-link and mobile communications. In the residential segment, fixed-link networks are increasingly losing out to mobile networks. While residential customers still considered the fixed-link network far better than mobile communications in terms of quality, rates and flexibility in 2005, the 2007 survey shows mobile communications dominating in many areas. In addition to rates and charges, criteria such as mobility and flexibility are becoming more and more important. As a result, an increasing number of residential customers are giving up their land lines and relying exclusively on mobile phones.

Fixed-link undisputed leader among businesses

In contrast to residential customers, Austria's businesses have not changed their behavior drastically compared to 2005: Fixed-link connections have remained very popular among business customers, which is why the number of lines has not changed significantly in this segment. In addition to price and quality criteria, offers of tailored end-to-end solutions for all telecommunications services (from a single provider) have been gaining in importance.

Mobile Internet booming among residential and business customers

Mobility is not only a key factor in telephony, it is also becoming more and more important in the consumer's choice of an Internet connection. "Mobile data cards and modems enable broadband Internet access when people are away from home or the office, or on business trips. Nearly one fourth of households with Internet access already have mobile broadband only, and some 482,000 broadband connections are based on UMTS/HSDPA," Serentschy adds.

VoIP: Growth in business segment, older generation still skeptical

The field of Internet telephony (VoIP) has undergone major changes and seen substantial increases in use since 2005. VoIP holds great potential for growth, especially among business customers.

"Among residential customers, this fairly new technology has convinced the younger generation and well-educated customer groups. The assumption that the Internet creates too many security problems and that VoIP is not yet a mature technology has generated a certain degree of skepticism, mainly among older consumers," comments Serentschy on the motives underlying the attitudes of residential customers. "The Internet campaign launched on March 3 will certainly create many positive stimuli to promote the Internet as well as Internet-based applications."

The survey was RTR's third study of demand behavior among residential and business customers since 2002; the sample included 2,000 private individuals and 1,100 businesses. The data derived from this representative survey is not only used in regulatory procedures, it is also made available to the interested public on the RTR web site.